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Becoming Catholic/RCIA/Year Round Catechumenate

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process through which adults discern the invitation to become a Roman Catholic through discussion instruction, prayers, and action, each person determines whether he or she wished to become part of the Catholic Church.

RCIA addresses the spiritual needs of the following persons:

  • Those who have never been baptized in any Christian faith tradition; referred to as catechumen in the process.
  • Those who were baptized in another Christian faith tradition; referred to as candidates in the process.
  • Those baptized Catholics seeking reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist; referred to as candidates in the process

RCIA has several aspects

Spiritual – Those in the process participate in the Liturgy of Word during Mass, learning the gestures and rites of the Mass; the Liturgy of the Eucharist is discussed throughout the process.  Other prayer traditions are presented and practiced as well.

Formative – Doctrines, traditions, and biblical perspectives of the Catholic Church are discussed so that the inquirer integrates them into daily life.

Communal – Those in the process are encouraged to become actively involved in their future parish.

Service – In the Bible, Jesus directs us to “love your neighbor as yourself”, and lets us know that “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” The formation process lends itself to do for others; thus those is process are invited to participate in service opportunities.


At Holy Name Cathedral, the RCIA ministry offers a year round process.  Upon the point of inquiry and an interview, the team determines the best course of implementation for the individual.  Catechumens, those seeking baptism,  are received at the Easter Vigil.  Candidates may be received at the Easter Vigil or another day, determined by the parish staff.  Preparation varies according to the individual and liturgical season, yet normally lasts 9-10 months.  There is also a period of adjustment, Mystagogy, allowing the newly baptized and newly received to continue to integrate the Catholic lifestyle into their daily lives.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Is RCIA like taking a course? It is and it isn’t! Most importantly, RCIA is a process which helps a person discern what God is saying to him or her at this point in life. The emphasis is on personal reflection, prayer, and service to the community. There are also formal presentations on subjects such as God, Jesus, the Sacraments, and the Scriptures. There are no quizzes or exams.

Can a fiancé, spouse, or friend act as a sponsor? The answer is yes, as long as this person is a baptized and confirmed Catholic. Sponsors are expected to attend all RCIA sessions. Additionally, Holy Name is blessed with a number of parishioners who volunteer to act as sponsors.

What is the charge for RCIA? There is no cost. RCIA is an important component of Holy Name’s call to spread the Gospel.

What if I realize that I may not want to become Catholic yet?  It is your faith journey; we are just walking with you. Becoming a Catholic is a personal decision! Do as your heart tells you.

What if I am a Catholic seeking Confirmation only?  RCIA may not be the right option for you. Instead, explore the Adult Confirmation process.

Registration Questions

The program and registration for 2020 is closed. If you are interested in pursuing RCIA or have other questions about becoming Catholic, we encourage you to contact Father Bill Vollmer or Dr. Kenneth Ortega for more information.  or 312-573-4438 0r 312-573-4434


. . If you search for God honestly and sincerely, you will find Him. . . .
For Yahweh, your God, is a merciful God and will not desert . . . you . . .
Deut. 4:29-31